This afternoon saw the first Birdwatching Cruise of the season (the earlier ones sadly had to be cancelled). We had nice weather, although the northerly wind was keen, and we saw lots of birds. Off Cockwood we saw the first of about 10 Great Crested Grebes, the resident Slavonian Grebe, a Little Grebe and 3 Goldeneye (1 male). About 25 Shags were scattered around the outer part of the estuary. We had distant views of a flock of Pintail in the Clyst Estuary, but only small numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers. More spectacular were very approximately 500 each of Brent Geese, Avocets, Lapwings and Golden Plovers at the top of the estuary and four-figure totals of Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin. About 10 Greenshanks were scattered along the western side, where an adult Mediterranean Gull flew past us. A Harbour (Common) Seal was hauled out on a sandbank off Lympstone.
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